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Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Writing Conference

I signed up for my first ever writing conference!
The Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (or WIFY for short) in Sandy, Utah this upcoming June. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. I will get to rub shoulders with some big names-Holly Black, Ally Condy, Carol Lynch Williams (did you read her amazing book The Chosen One?), Brandon Mull to name a few. My teacher is Louise Plummer. I hadn't heard of her before looking into the conference, but once I read up on all her amazing experience and read reviews from people who have taken her classes, I honestly can't wait. I just hope that she can tell me more than "you have beautiful hazeleyes" although I really do:) Read quote below to understand:
Louise, what can students expect to learn from your class?

"Students are expected to bring a finished or partially finished novel, of which I will read 20 pages during the week. Class members will read sections of each other's novels and critique these in class. We will also write in class, play around with verbs and adjectives, gossip about other living writers, and eat as much junk food as we can. I will either be funny, look funny, or both."

Would you describe your strengths as a teacher?

"I will grab you by the throat and say, "You can do this! You can!" Or I will say, "You need a year of apprenticeship before you send this to a publisher," or I will say, "Gosh, you have beautiful hazel eyes."

Do you think she knows I have hazel eyes? I take comfort in the fact that she answered these questions before I signed up.  Doesn't she sound like fun?

And the best part is that I'm taking this class with my very best friend, by writing buddy Kathyrn Purdie. We both write YA Character-Driven Fantasy, so we may have fit better in Holly Black's class, but it was already full.  Still, I think we're going to learn a ton in this class.

Here's to days filled with writing, and confidence in my 30 page submission required for the class. I'll keep you posted how the preparation and conference goes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Parents

I blame my parents completely for my addiction to books. My house was overflowing with them. For treats Mom would take us to The Intimate Book Shop and let us pick four or five books of our choosing. How I loved that store. I wish it still existed, but this post isn't about the takeover of local book stores, so we won't talk about that.

Each summer we took road trips-either out West to see our family or up the East Coast on camping adventures. And along the way Mom or one of my older siblings would read to us. Lots of Roald Dahl (isn't he wonderful?). I distinctly remember my mom reading Danny the Champion of the World and being so engrossed in the story that the car trip flew by as I was busy poaching pheasants and out smarting the town's nasty rich guy, what was his name? What a dream to live in a caravan with a father whose eyes smiled.
So, it's not surprising that growing up when I wasn't romping in the woods behind our house, catching crawfish in the creek, or flying on my bike, I would be reading in my room. "Hibernating" my mom called it.